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Mandatory and optional ongoing learning and personal development

As adults in scouting our needs are constantly changing, so to enable us to do our best for our young people it's important that we are always learning and refining our skills. 

Mandatory ongoing learning

(to be completed 3 year after the original topic was completed as part of your woodbadge training)

Although the on-going learning hours you are required to complete each year can be any number of things, there are also some specific on-going learning requirements which adults who hold an appointment for which an appointment review is required must complete.

There is currently two specific pieces of mandatory on-going learning:

Leaders, managers and supporters in scouting must hold a current first aid qualification at the time of gaining their Wood Badge and at the appointment renewal. However, they are encouraged to keep their qualification up to date at all times. 

The minimum standard for this qualification is first response, but higher levels of qualification are needed if delivering first aid training or leading certain kinds of adventurous activities. This provision will ensure a minimum standard of first aid knowledge and training across the Movement.

More information on first response requirements and equivalents can be found on our first aid and dirst response pages.

Click here to book onto one of our first response courses



Optional ongoing learning

Over the period of your appointment your are required to complete an average of five hours' ongoing learning each year.

Ongoing learning, or ongoing training, is essentially any training, learning or development completed by an adult that is subsequently used by them in their scouting role. It can take place both inside and outside scouting, but must ultimately benefit the young people, and adults, in scouting.

Ongoing learning can come from a variety of sources and could be in the form of:

  • additional modules from the Adult Training Scheme, for example a attending Module 28 (presenting skills)
  • training within The Scout Association but outside of the Adult Training Scheme, for example, an Activity Assessor course or an ongoing learning module
  • training completed outside of scouting, for example evening classes that provide you with new talents that can be of use to you in your scouting role, an IT class for example
  • an external qualification in a practical skill such as archery, for example.

On occasion, usually due to major policy or legal changes, Headquarters may specify particular compulsory ongoing learning topics for a fixed period. On such occasions Headquarters will make training material and support documentation available. 

The following ongoing learning modules are available from The Scout Association 

  • Effective recruiter training
  • Mixed Scouting training
  • The Young Leaders' Scheme
  • Thinking differently about volunteering



Your Group Scout Leader or Commissioner (as appopriate), should consider your plans for, and completion of, ongoing learning as part of your normal review process. The appropriate Appointments sub-Committee and Commissioner will formally assess the completion of this requirement when your appointment is renewed.